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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Live it—Don’t fear it! Book Review for Karen Jones Gowen's "Afraid of Everything"

Live your life—don’t fear it!  This is the moral of  Afraid of Everything by Karen Jones Gowen.  
Gowen brought me into the frustrating world of  anxiety disorder with her detailed description of Helena’s thought process.  The opening chapters of the book vividly describe a level of anxiety that left me amazed that Helena Carr ever held a position as a labor nurse in a hospital, and even more shocked that she’d even want to attempt to return after a major crisis that nearly cost a patient her life.  Every single act, every decision Helena makes is controlled by her anxiety and concern.  Should she call the realtor?  Should she see the therapist?  Should she attend her neighbors’ backyard party?  Should she call her father?  Should she continue to see the therapist?  Should she have gone to see her mother sooner?  Should she sell her house?  Should she go visit her daughter?  Should she move to Guatemala?  Which route would be best?  What time should she leave to arrive to her appointment on time?
Finally, she makes the decision to completely change her life, but in a dramatic and tragic twist, finds herself stuck in a coma following a car accident.  Gowen crafts a creative and confusing world that Helena navigates in her mind during her body’s recovery. The coma-world is a sort of Land of Oz combined with voices from the afterlife, as Helena meets unique characters who all seem to have plenty to tell her.  The coma-world portion of the book does read a bit slower than the first few chapters, as I really began to feel Helena’s frustration at not being able to wake up from the coma, as the coma-world characters push her to understand that fear will not keep her safe, but it will rob her from enjoying her life.
 The coma-world makes Afraid of Everything an interesting read for anyone who has ever wondered what it might be like to be hopelessly trapped in a coma, or what internal struggles might occur in another intriguing dimension as someone recovers from a coma.    
Today's Reviewer:  Cathy Hansen is a wife, mom, teacher, independent beauty consultant, and small business owner.  She and her husband operate SeedsNBeans, a local nature store, in Two Rivers, Wisconsin.

Thank you to WOW! Women on Writing for allowing us to participate in this tour! 

Afraid of Everything is a touching and expertly written book about the life and experiences of Helena Carr as she explores an intriguing new world.

Helena Carr is afraid of everything. After a crisis at work, she quits her job and feels lost. It’s time for a serious change, to beat the extreme anxiety that has plagued her since childhood. Something different, unplanned and radical. Sell her house, move to a foreign location, turn her life upside down in an effort to end the emotionally paralyzing fear. 

Before Helena can act on her options, however, she has a terrible accident on a Southern California freeway. Instead of going on an exotic vacation, she is in a hospital, in a coma, traveling to strange worlds in another dimension, meeting people who seem to know more about her than she knows about herself. 

As Helena explores this intriguing new world, she realizes the truth about her past and the purpose of her future. And she is no longer afraid. She is at last ready to live. But first, she must wake up from the coma.

Paperback: 285 Pages
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Publisher: WiDo Publishing (October 7, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1937178595
ISBN-13: 978-1937178598

Twitter hashtag: #AfraidGowen

Afraid of Everything is available as an e-book and paperback atAmazonBarnes & Noble, and IndieBound.

Book Giveaway Contest:
To win a copy of Afraid of Everything please enter using the Rafflecopter form at the bottom of this post. The giveaway contest closes this Friday, March 13th at 12:00 AM CST. We will announce the winner the same day in the Rafflecopter widget. Good luck!
About the Author: 
Born and raised in central Illinois, Karen Jones Gowen now lives and writes in Panajachel, Guatemala. She and her husband Bruce are the parents of ten children. Not surprisingly, family relationships are a recurring theme in Gowen's writing. Her children’s stories have appeared in the Friend, and her essays in the Jacksonville Journal Courier. Gowen's published books are Farm GirlUncut DiamondsHouse of DiamondsLighting Candles in the Snow,Farm Girl Country Cooking: Hearty Meals for Active Familiesand Afraid of Everything. She blogs at her website, and at Coming Down the Mountain. You can email her at karenjonesgowen[at]gmail[dot]com.

Twitter: @KarenGowen


----------Upcoming Blog Tour Dates

Tuesday, March 10 @ Bring on Lemons
Join educator and guest blogger Cathy Hansen as she shares her thoughts after reading Karen Jones Gowen's latest bookAfraid of Everything. Be sure to complete the Rafflecopter form and see if you'll be the lucky winner of the giveaway for your own copy of this great book!

Wednesday, March 11 @ Nutshell Newsletter Press
Join Sheila Gazlay as she reviews Afraid of Everything by Karen Jones Gowen.

Thursday, March 12 @ Lauren Scharhag
Avid reader and book enthusiast Cathy Kirby Contino reviewsAfraid of Everything by Karen Jones Gowen. Readers of Lauren Scharhag's blog will also have an opportunity to win a copy. This is a blog stop you won't want to miss!

Friday, March 13 @ Selling Books with Cathy Stucker
Catch up with Karen Jones Gowen as she is interviewed by Cathy Stucker about her latest work Afraid of Everything. Don't miss this WOW! Women on Writing book blog tour stop at Selling Books!

Monday, March 16 @ Katherine Hajer
Katherine Hajer reads and reviews Afraid of Everything by Karen Jones Gowen. One lucky reader of Katherine's blog will also win the giveaway and take home their very own copy of this great book!

Wednesday, March 18 @ Renee’s Pages
WOW!'s own Renee Roberson reviews Afraid of Everything by Karen Jones Gowen and will host a giveaway for one lucky winner to go home with their very own copy of this page turning novel!

Thursday, March 19 @ I’d So Rather Be Reading
Find out what the lovely Kelli at I'd So Rather Be Reading has to say after reading the latest work by Karen Jones Gowen. Find out more about Afraid of Everything and get in on the giveaway to win your very own copy!

Friday, March 20 @ Author Ava Louise
Fellow author Ava Louise reviews Karen Jones Gowen's latest work, Afraid of Everything and offers a giveaway for one lucky reader! 

Monday, March 30 @ Memoir Writer’s Journey
Join Kathleen Pooler at Memoir Writer's Journey as she reviews Afraid of Everything by Karen Jones Gowen

Keep up with blog stops and giveaways in real time by following us on Twitter @WOWBlogTour.

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